Eating and Shopping in Saigon

It was Valentine's Day. But instead of meeting up for dinner which my friends and I normally do for the past 3 years, we celebrated it by shopping in Ho Chi Minh City.

3 Million. Oh yeah!

We headed out to Pham Ngu Lao and looked for a money changer. We instead ended up at a tour agency. Just like the Cambodian Riel, Vietnamese Dong has lots of zeroes. Exchange rate: $1 - 20850 VND.

Before shopping, we stopped by an Italian-Vietnamese restaurant to have a super late lunch.

 Tricolore. Good food. Good feeling.

This lady was giggling the whole time and we didn't know why.

Here are some of our orders:

garlic toast

Spaghetti Bolognnara

Pizza Pepperoni
Vietnamese spring rolls

strawberry shake

VN Traditional Coffee with milk

 soda water

 Then came our bill. 780,000!!! Hahaha!

We've seen the brand "Vina" everywhere. The reason why we noticed it is that it reminded us of our friend, Vina who was not with us in that trip. I thought maybe it was a shortcut for Vietnam. I just googled it now and found out that I was right. According to Urbandictionary, Vina is a short form for Vietnam or Viet Nam. You take the first two letters of "Viet" and "Nam" to make "Vina".


bottled water


Soon it got dark, and we made our way to the shopping area. Motorbikes are everywhere! We were screaming as we crossed the streets.

souvenir shirts


We never got to try those as we just had our lunch.

The main Benh Tanh Market was already closed but the stalls at the night market were starting to open and will be there until midnight. We decided to go first to Saigon Square which closes at 8pm. I went out empty-handed since the sizes are way too small for my frame. And then we headed back to the night market.



group pic with the stall owner

If we only had more days in Ho Chi Minh, we will definitely be at the night market everyday. There's a lot of cheap items you can buy. They also have food stalls selling barbeque and the like.  

Just a tip: Your bargaining skills are required here. Sellers would try to double or triple the first price to make it look like you were given a big discount after haggling. Some sellers are firm and would not lower the price. Before deciding to buy, try to analyze if the item is worth the asking price. It also helps if you'll purchase as a group. They would be forced to give a wholesale discount.


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